This time I went to the SoCo Farmer’s Market in Costa Mesa. It’s a growing market (they just opened in Nov. 2010). A cute little one with lots of vendors with prepared foods, some farmers, and some food trucks. They’re a Certified Farmer’s Market (the county agricultural commissioner makes sure the farmer actually grows the commodity being sold by inspecting every farmer who sells at a certified market. So, the farmers sell their fruits, nuts and vegetables directly to the public).
I spoke with one of the farmers extensively. She was a cute Asian lady who told me all about the wonderful selection of greens that she had. I can’t even recall all the types of greens because she had so many! And, she knew all about each one… bitter melon greens are preferred by many Asian cooks; they’re great prepared in soups. Dandelion greens are usually bought for salads. She had Thai basil, purple basil, and sweet basil. She told me which greens sell the most, and which ones don’t sell. Which ones are preferred for salads, which for soups, and still others she told me to serve instead of potato chips! I could’ve talked to her for hours.
There was a man with just avocados; you know he’s my hero! There was a man who sold almonds: raw almonds, almond butter, sugared almonds, and an amazing Spanish Marcona Almond with rosemary and sea salt.
There was a man with seafood. There was a lady with honey. A booth with prepared spreads like tomato salsa, hummus, and ceviche. There was a man with traditional Afghani breads and spreads. There was a woman with beautiful French breads. Sometimes it’s a good thing that I take pictures because I just can’t remember all the fabulous things I see.
I picked up a few things, some greens, a variety of baby squash, some green beans, herbs including purple basil, bread, garlic mint yogurt cheese, and those yummy Marcona almonds. I’ll make a nice sauté of the squash and serve it with a fried egg. We already had some of the bread & the yogurt cheese. I took the almonds to a friend’s house to share.
One of the cutest parts of this market was that they do a recipe of the week. The recipe is printed on cards so that you can pick up a copy while you’re at the market. Most all of the ingredients for that recipe can be obtained that day at the market (you may have to provide some staples). And, then they demonstrate how to prepare the dish. They also have a menu suggestion with appetizer, main dish, side dish, and dessert posted at the market. (How cute is that!). And, they invited me to do a cooking demonstration. I’m excited about that!
I just simply love a good farmer’s market. The idea that there’s fresh fruit and veggies being brought to people on a regular basis. And, some of that produce is organic. And, there’s always something fun and new. I’m hoping to get to a couple more soon so that I can review more of them.
This SoCo farmer’s market was in a parking lot of a really cute shopping center. The center had a really nice vibe with a really welcoming space. This market is on Saturdays 9am-2pm, rain or shine, and is located 1 block northwest of 405 & Harbor Blvd at the SoCo Collection retail center.
Related posts: The Farmers’ Market and a John Dory Fish, where I review the Heritage Park farmer’s market in Irvine.